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ID number:944704
Published: 14.04.2010.
Language: English
Level: College/University
Literature: 16 units
References: Used
Table of contents
Nr. Chapter  Page.
  Introduction    3
1.  What is burnout?    4
  Definition of burnout    4
  Occurrence of burnout    6
  Symptoms of burnout    8
  Stages of burnout    9
  Causes of burnout    13
  External causes    13
  Institutional factors    14
  Interpersonal factor    15
  Personal factors    15
  Internal causes of burnout    16
  Expectations    16
  Reaction to stress situations    16
  Important interpersonal relationships    16
  Effects and prophylaxis of burnout    18
  Effects of burnout    18
  Preventive measures to avoid burnout    18
  Conclusion    20
  References    21

Burnout is a term that was coined in 1974 by New York psychologist Herbert J. Freudenberger who described it as a state of fatigue or frustration brought about by a devotion to a cause, a way of life, or a relationship that failed to produce the expected reward [19]. Since then burnout has become an overall term. [2:12] In 1981 a national conference about burnout was held in Philadelphia, which certifies that the problem of burnout is a pending matter [5:232]
Burnout is not a clearly defined term, nor a clearly definite theoretical model. That is why a great part of research is devoted to identifying attitudes, feelings and actions related with burnout. One can distinguish several groups of definitions, based on their mode of expression. In general, three groups can be set out: descriptive, rhetoric and academical.
Most of the definitions found are describing symptoms of burnout, thus can be related to the first group, for example:
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion marked by physical depletion and chronic fatigue, feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, and by development of a negative self-concept and negative attitudes towards work, life and other people. [16]
Burnout is a state of mental and/or physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. [19]
A feeling of emotional exhaustion and disinterest in one’s career that often lasts for weeks, months and sometimes for years. [14]
Burnout is a gradual escalation of work-related problems that creates long-term sense of helplessness and inadequacy, and often expands to all aspects of ones’ life. [14]
Burnout is a reaction of exhaustion that is a result of constant or repeating emotional pressure related to intensive interaction with people in a long period of time. [5:232]
Burnout is a process in which people become powerless in fighting stress resulting from emotional contact with clients and alienation from clients, colleagues and organization [6:58].
Burnout is the gradual process by which a person, in response to prolonged stress and physical, mental and emotional strain, detaches from work and other meaningful relationships. The result is lowered productivity, cynicism, and confusion, a feeling of being drained, having nothing more to give.…

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